Court seeks EC response on Congress petitions

The Supreme Court on Thursday sought the response of the Election Commission of India on separate petitions filed by Congress leaders Sachin Pilot and Kamal Nath highlighting that lakhs of voters have been found to be fake and that only a small portion of VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) units have arrived so far in the run-up to the forthcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. ‘Uphold people’s rights’ A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan issued notice to the Commission, which the petitions said was the “watchdog of free and fair elections” Mr. Nath and Mr. Pilot, both represented by advocate Varun K. Chopra, said the Commission is “duty-bound to circumvent the pressure and ascertain that ensuing elections are free from any impediments in order to uphold the democratic sanctity and fundamental rights of the voter”. The Bench posted the matter for hearing on August 31. Mr. Nath contended there were 60 lakh duplicate, repeat, multiple, illegal, invalid, false, etc, entries/voters in the electoral rolls of Madhya Pradesh. Mr. Pilot alleged that there were nearly a crore such fake voters. “No voter shall be deleted from the final voter list without intimation to political parties after the election notification,” Mr. Pilot’s petition said.

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